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12 Mar 2020

Coronavirus Fuels Remote Work: Are You Ready?


With the coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to spread worldwide, many companies are making moves to proactively protect the health of their employees and keep critical work on track. Many public events have been cancelled and health agencies are broadly encouraging companies to enable employees to work from home via virtual workplace solutions like Microsoft Teams. While we still don’t know what this novel coronavirus will bring in the coming months, planning ahead can ensure continuity of business operations in any scenario.

The free version of Microsoft Teams limits calling and meeting features, so to promote transition to their premium service, Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial globally. Furthermore, they are rolling out an update of the free version enabling users to schedule meetings for video calling in support of remote work and global health.

“At Microsoft, our top concern is the well-being of our employees and supporting our customers in dealing with business impact during this challenging time,” the company said in a statement. “For many individuals and organizations, Microsoft Teams video-conferencing, chat, and collaboration are playing an important role in helping people continue to work and collaborate.”

“Since January 31, we’ve seen a 500 percent increase in Teams meetings, calling, and conferences there [in China], and a 200 percent increase in Teams usage on mobile devices,” stated Jared Spataro, corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.

While effects of the coronavirus will likely dissipate in the coming months, fear of another pandemic is just one reason to consider Microsoft Teams and other hubs for virtual work. An impending storm, a flat tire, an appliance delivery, or care of a sick family member all pop-up unexpectedly and lead to absences from work. The ability to work remotely during such occasions not only enables business to move on uninterrupted, but also provides your team with flexibility that reserves paid time off for vacations!

Switching to a remote-work setup isn’t easy. Threats like the coronavirus are bound to create disruption, but with unexpected challenges comes opportunity. Today’s technology, allows you to respond effectively and deliver on business goals. Use this time to explore new ways of working and revisit old assumptions about productivity.

SYNACT Inc. doesn’t just blog about the power of virtual workspaces, it’s how we do business every day! We see the power of productivity, collaboration, and employee morale that accompanies Microsoft Teams and we think you will too.